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Banana Production Kit: Banana Integrated Pest Management Part 1

Effective pest and disease management involves two steps:
1. Prevention
  • It is always better to prevent than to cure.
  • Better managed plants are better able to resist to pests and diseases.
2. Cure
  • If, despite all prevention measures, a disease occurs, remedial measures need to be taken.
  • It is important to correctly identify the problem to find the most appropriate cure.
Powerful chemical pesticides may seem a good and easy solution.  BUT there are several problems:
  • Most are extremely toxic; resistant strains of the pest or disease may develop.
  • The pest or disease may return, as the real cause of the problem, i.e. the existence of favorable conditions for the pest or disease, is not taken away.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
This is the better alternative to the use of chemicals as it blends all effective, economical and environmentally sound pest control methods into a single but flexible approach to managing pests.


Benefits of IPM
  • Keep pest populations below economically damaging levels.
  • Emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption of agro-ecosystems.
  • Encourages natural pest-control mechanisms and least invasive practices, while highly disruptive or environmentally damaging practices (e.g. chemical pesticides) are used only where and when natural methods fail to keep pests below damaging levels.

Pests and Diseases Management Strategies
Regulatory Practices
This refers to all forms of legislation/regulation that might prevent the establishment or reduce the spread of pest and diseases in the national and international levels.

P.D. 1144 (1977). Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) Rules and Regulations on pesticides 1, Series of registration of (1973).
Scope of Legal Authority
Establishment of the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority to regulate the import, manufacture, distribution and use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Administering Authority
Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, Department of Agriculture
Only efficacy data are locally developed, but even this may be waived. MRLs or tolerances, not set locally, but Codex MRLs accepted. Summaries of studies not accepted.
Data Assessment and Decision Making
Pesticide Technical Advisory Committee evaluates data and recommends a decision to FPA.
Labeling Requirements
Color coding and use of pictograms implemented.
Monitoring Programs
Minimal monitoring of residues; occasional monitoring of formulations,
Safety Programs
Certification program for pesticide retailers and pest control operators; regular training of medical personnel.
Enforcement Measures
Limited number of inspectors, enforcement generally weak, but good control of imports through issuance of import permits by FPA.
Pesticides  Regulatory Policies and Procedures

Physical and Mechanical Methods
These methods physically keep pests from reaching their hosts and/or directly remove or kill pests. These include:
  • inspection to identify possible points of entry.
  • barriers such as screens, plant collars, etc.
  • traps like fly paper, sticky boards, folded burlap around tree trunk, etc.
  • crushing pests under your foot, hand-picking, cutting or pruning pest individuals or galls out of a tree, using a fly swatter, etc.
  • electronic bug killers
  • temperature extremes to kill pests and diseases or to prevent injury (e.g., cold storage, heat treatments, etc.)
Cultural Control
This refers to the use of methods that favor desirable plant growth and make the environment less favorable for pests and diseases.

This is done by keeping the area clean of plants or materials where pests may live and hide, and of sources of food and water. Examples include: removal of weeds, removal and destruction of crop residues, cleaning of farm equipment.

Crop Rotation
This method replaces a crop that is susceptible to a serious pest with another crop that is not susceptible, on a rotating basis. This is most likely to be practical and effective when it is used against pests that attack annual or biennial crops, have a relatively narrow host range, cannot move easily from one field to another and are present before the crop is planted.

Intercropping (Mixed Cropping)
This is another way to reduce pest populations by increasing environmental diversity that makes it more difficult for pests to find their favored host crop.
  • Adjusting the Time of Planting
  • Proper Irrigation and Fertilization
  • Flooding to Eliminate Soil-borne Pests
  • Use of Certified Disease-free Motherplants or Seeds
  • Variations of Standard Agricultural Practices
Host resistance/tolerance
Use varieties that are tolerant to pests and diseases present in the area.

Biological control
This refers to the use of beneficial organisms to control specific pests.

The video below provides example of biological crop protection

Chemical control
This is the use of chemicals to kill pests or to inhibit their feeding, mating or other essential behaviors. However, it must be remembered that chemicals have high toxicity and harmful effects on the environment and non-target organisms. Modern management practices typically reserve synthetic chemical controls as a last resort.

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